too many Vanguard online ads!

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letsgobobby
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too many Vanguard online ads!

Post by letsgobobby » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:44 am

I read that advertisers pay search engines and other data aggregators for your browsing history, and then target ads to you. So go figure, Vanguard has decided I am their number one mark. How else to explain that nearly every page I visit (on multiple forums, newspaper websites, my home page, etc) now boasts Vanguard ads, with claims like "our S&P500 index is less expensive than 73% of all S&P500 indexes" and "#1 ranked X fund in the last 3, 5, and 10 years"?

It's nice to only get ads about things I'm interested in - no more ads for designer clothes or cars I would never buy. But I'm pretty sure Vanguard is wasting their resources on me: I mean, you've already got (nearly) all my non-retirement accounts - what more do you want? At some point they are preaching to the choir - I'm already a member of the club, guys and girls!

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by NightOwl » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:00 am

That's funny -- I was thinking precisely the same thing today as I scrolled past about the twentieth Vanguard ad. (Yeah, I know that I should use AdBlock, but I don't.) I have no problem with Vanguard advertising, of course, but why target someone who is already sold on the product? I know that customer retention is important, but maybe some of the internet advertising experts here can weigh in on this. Are there ways to target people who have weaker affiliations with VG and to spend less on the stalwarts? If they are tracking me, don't they know I visit VG regularly and Bogleheads pretty much daily?

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by nisiprius » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:22 am

That's interesting. I probably need to dig more into where and how I've let Them learn about me, because it is the Ken Fisher ads that are always following me around. That's a Good Thing. I loathe the (unstated) cultural norm in the United States which says "It is perfectly OK to invade your privacy provided it is done for the purpose of selling you something." But it's not something I choose to take up as a life crusade, nor to entertain myself by getting terribly angry at it. But it's annoying, and I feel much happier being annoyed at Ken Fisher than I'd be being annoyed at Vanguard.
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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by Sheepdog » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:32 am

nisiprius wrote:That's interesting. I probably need to dig more into where and how I've let Them learn about me, because it is the Ken Fisher ads that are always following me around. That's a Good Thing. I loathe the (unstated) cultural norm in the United States which says "It is perfectly OK to invade your privacy provided it is done for the purpose of selling you something." But it's not something I choose to take up as a life crusade, nor to entertain myself by getting terribly angry at it. But it's annoying, and I feel much happier being annoyed at Ken Fisher than I'd be being annoyed at Vanguard.
Ditto to that.
I get Ken Fisher and Vanguard ads many times. I get Scottrade, Merrill Edge and Fidelity plus other financial ads as well.
It's interesting that when I Google something, such as tile and ceramics, up come ads for tiles, ceramics and such.
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Sidney
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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by Sidney » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:40 am

Ad Block Plus and Flashblock. No ads, no automatic videos. Cleaner pages.
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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by JW-Retired » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:42 am

Hummm. I'm here plenty and also at the VG site but I hardly ever see a VG add. I'd like to understand how this works so I can keep it that way. I don't have anything but the IE pop up blocker turned on. It doesn't always block everything.

What sort of add displays are these?
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alanf56
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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by alanf56 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:10 am

I find that whatever I have surfed to recently like Vanguard pops up in the ads on certain other web pages. Big Brother IS watching. I guess I should use ad blockers. But it seems it is just reminding me of what I was looking at anyhow so no big deal.

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:29 am

Google search is one big source of your information; until recently I used scroogle.com until google snapped the link. Now I use duckduckgo to search and the ads are less focused, still getting ads based on the sites I visit I suppose.
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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:32 am

I don't mind reading Vanguard ads, it's the Ken Fisher paper mailings I hate. I think he got my name from Smart Money magazine - apparently they sell mailing lists of potential "marks" to him. He must do well for himself, with a mailing address of Beverly Hills, CA. Not so sure, his clients are doing as well.
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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by FafnerMorell » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:17 am

I like the Vanguard web ads: they help support various sites I like, and they're easy to ignore: "Vanguard has low fees", yep, got the message, thanks!

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Go Blue 99
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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by Go Blue 99 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:21 am

You really need AdBlock for Firefox.

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by White Coat Investor » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:47 am

Anyone remember that Tom Cruise money where all the ads are shouting your name as you walk by? We'll get to that.
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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by Muchtolearn » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:52 am

Sidney wrote:Ad Block Plus and Flashblock. No ads, no automatic videos. Cleaner pages.
Sidney, I just had to recreate my computer to scratch because of some virus. Do these add ons (I use mozilla) create problems?

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by Sidney » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:32 am

I have not had any problem with Ad Blocker Plus or Flash Block. Flash block brings up a square (and some times a still image) with a radio button so you can play the flash if you want to. The one add-on I did have problems with was Ghostery. It caused some latency and freeze-ups. But no permanent issues.
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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by greg24 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:39 am

Muchtolearn wrote:
Sidney wrote:Ad Block Plus and Flashblock. No ads, no automatic videos. Cleaner pages.
Sidney, I just had to recreate my computer to scratch because of some virus. Do these add ons (I use mozilla) create problems?
If anything, AdBlock and Flashblock will reduce the possibility of virus problems. If you want to go all-in, add NoScript and you'll have as safe a surfing experience as possible. NoScript will cause issues with some sites not working correctly, as your are disabling the browser-side scripting.

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by KyleAAA » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:55 am

They have no idea whether or not you're already a customer. Vanguard isn't involved at all, in fact. These sound like adsense ads, which are entirely and completely controlled by Google. Vanguard doesn't have any say. All they determine is how much they're willing to pay per click and/or impression. They can also target individual sites, but not individual users. ROI is measured in aggregate terms. They don't and can't target individual users. Whoever told you that advertisers buy info about your browsing history in order to target ads to you was wrong.

Vanguard is not tracking you and has no idea who you are. You can completely opt out of personalized ads through Google. They make it easy.

On an unrelated note, I personally feel adblocking software is immoral. Web publishers have to pay the bills somehow. To intentionally prevent somebody from earning a living just so you don't have to look at a small ad strikes me as extremely selfish. Not quite on par with pirating music and software, but close.

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by jasonlitka » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:26 pm

What you are describing is called "retargeting". If the adverts are served through Google then go to the URL below to opt-out.

http://www.google.com/ads/preferences
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anjou
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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by anjou » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:41 pm

The ads seem to follow you because of cookies. Vanguard purchased ad time on certain online ad networks. When you visit certain partner sites ad network cookies get placed in your browser. Now when you visit a page which has ad space owned by the ad network, that ad network reads your cookies, and serves you ads. Since your cookies indicated you were interested in Vanguard, the ad network puts up the impression of the Vanguard ad on the ad space. If the cookie says this computer user is interested in horses, and Horse and Country was a client of the ad network, that ad would come on that space. If you delete all your cookies, you will find that the Vanguard ads stop showing up.

Anjou.

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by Archie Sinclair » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:43 pm

KyleAAA wrote:On an unrelated note, I personally feel adblocking software is immoral. Web publishers have to pay the bills somehow. To intentionally prevent somebody from earning a living just so you don't have to look at a small ad strikes me as extremely selfish. Not quite on par with pirating music and software, but close.
Do they necessarily know whether you view the ad or not? If not, do you believe that it's morally imperative to watch tv commercials?

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by Jay69 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:46 pm

I was looking for a set of running boards for the truck a few weeks back, every site I goto now has running board adds.

I suppose I could spend some time looking to buy a cactus so I can change my browsers theme!
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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by Sidney » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:48 pm

Use private browsing.
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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by Alex Frakt » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:59 pm

I use Firefox and Adblock Plus to avoid ads entirely. But if you don't want to do that for some reason, you can still get rid of targeted ads if you are using IE, Firefox or Chrome by permanently blocking google's ad cookies: http://www.google.com/ads/preferences/plugin/. You'll still get ads, but they will stop google from building up a profile of what it thinks your interests are and then serving you ads based on those interests. Note these should be blocked by default if you are using the Safari browser (at least since 2 weeks ago).

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by KyleAAA » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:01 pm

Archie Sinclair wrote:
KyleAAA wrote:On an unrelated note, I personally feel adblocking software is immoral. Web publishers have to pay the bills somehow. To intentionally prevent somebody from earning a living just so you don't have to look at a small ad strikes me as extremely selfish. Not quite on par with pirating music and software, but close.
Do they necessarily know whether you view the ad or not? If not, do you believe that it's morally imperative to watch tv commercials?
No, because the TV networks get paid whether you view the ad or not. And CPMs are high. Not so with most internet advertising. Most is pay-per-click or pay-per-action. If the ads aren't shown, there is no opportunity to earn any income whatsoever. What CPM ads do exist pay very little unless highly targeted (quite rare). Not a valid comparison.

There are also artistic and copyright issues involved with ad-blocking software that don't exist with TV advertising. Ads on the internet are usually PART OF the creative work rather than sandwiched in and around the creative work, particularly on more design-driven sites. This whole idea that content should always be free without any compensation for its creators is silly. Just because technology makes it possible doesn't mean it's ethical.

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by Alex Frakt » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:10 pm

KyleAAA wrote:
Archie Sinclair wrote:
KyleAAA wrote:On an unrelated note, I personally feel adblocking software is immoral. Web publishers have to pay the bills somehow. To intentionally prevent somebody from earning a living just so you don't have to look at a small ad strikes me as extremely selfish. Not quite on par with pirating music and software, but close.
Do they necessarily know whether you view the ad or not? If not, do you believe that it's morally imperative to watch tv commercials?
No, because the TV networks get paid whether you view the ad or not. And CPMs are high. Not so with most internet advertising. Most is pay-per-click or pay-per-action. What CPM ads do exist pay very little unless highly targeted (quite rare). Not a valid comparison.

There are also artistic and copyright issues involved with ad-blocking software that don't exist with TV advertising. Ads on the internet are usually PART OF the creative work rather than sandwiched in and around the creative work, particularly on more design-driven sites.
I have never clicked on a website ad. Ever. Even before Adblock Plus came out and I was exposed to them regularly. So if web publishers are paid on a pay-per-click or pay-per-action, exactly how am I depriving them of anything? Actually, prior to Adblock Plus, if I came to a site that was slow or hard to read because of the abundance of ads, I would simply leave it and not go back. Now at least the site gets to benefit from my additional page views that helps to set their direct ad rates and possibly the site's sale price.

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by KyleAAA » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:14 pm

Alex Frakt wrote:
There are also artistic and copyright issues involved with ad-blocking software that don't exist with TV advertising. Ads on the internet are usually PART OF the creative work rather than sandwiched in and around the creative work, particularly on more design-driven sites.
I have never clicked on a website ad. Ever. Even before Adblock Plus came out and I was exposed to them regularly. So if web publishers are paid on a pay-per-click or pay-per-action, exactly how am I depriving them of anything? Actually, prior to Adblock Plus, if I came to a site that was slow or hard to read because of the abundance of ads, I would simply leave it and not go back. Now at least the site gets to benefit from my additional page views that helps to set their direct ad rates and possibly the site's sale price.[/quote]

Perhaps you're never clicked an ad ever, but if so that's an extremely specialized case. Almost everybody has clicked ads. Chances are you have and just didn't realize it was an ad. An example: does your plugin block amazon affiliate links? Have you ever clicked on one? Ever? Probably. And page views generally neither increase direct ad rates or site sale prices. Seems like a poor rationalization to me.

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by Alex Frakt » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:45 pm

KyleAAA wrote:Perhaps you're never clicked an ad ever, but if so that's an extremely specialized case. Almost everybody has clicked ads. Chances are you have and just didn't realize it was an ad. An example: does your plugin block amazon affiliate links? Have you ever clicked on one? Ever? Probably. And page views generally neither increase direct ad rates or site sale prices. Seems like a poor rationalization to me.
Are you suggesting I can't recognize ads? I put up my first html pages (on Geocities :-)) in 1995. And no, my plugin does not block affiliate links. And yes, I have clicked on them. Properly done, affiliate links aren't ads, they are content. If I like a review on some gear site and decide to buy the product, I'm happy to follow their link. In fact, I'll leave the result of that link up in one tab and open another to see if I can get a better deal elsewhere - if not, I'll go back to the original link to ensure the person gets their referral fee. My comment on page views increasing value is based on the content of the near-daily e-mails I get from people asking to place ads on this site or buy it from me outright.

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by KyleAAA » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:14 pm

Alex Frakt wrote:
KyleAAA wrote:Perhaps you're never clicked an ad ever, but if so that's an extremely specialized case. Almost everybody has clicked ads. Chances are you have and just didn't realize it was an ad. An example: does your plugin block amazon affiliate links? Have you ever clicked on one? Ever? Probably. And page views generally neither increase direct ad rates or site sale prices. Seems like a poor rationalization to me.
Are you suggesting I can't recognize ads? I put up my first html pages (on Geocities :-)) in 1995. And no, my plugin does not block affiliate links. And yes, I have clicked on them. Properly done, affiliate links aren't ads, they are content. If I like a review on some gear site and decide to buy the product, I'm happy to follow their link. In fact, I'll leave the result of that link up in one tab and open another to see if I can get a better deal elsewhere - if not, I'll go back to the original link to ensure the person gets their referral fee. My comment on page views increasing value is based on the content of the near-daily e-mails I get from people asking to place ads on this site or buy it from me outright.

To each his own. My point is that as a creator of content, I should be able to set the terms under which you should be allowed to access the information on my site. On this forum, there are certain topics that are forbidden. That's fine. Those are your terms. But what if I could theoretically use some sort of technology to prevent you from deleting off-topic political or spam threads? That would clearly be wrong and you would rightly be upset. It's your site and I should abide by your terms, regardless of whether or not I agree with them. Just because I have the technical ability to thwart your wishes doesn't give me the moral right to do so, not even if I think it may be "better" for you if I do. Same with ads. My site, my terms. And my terms are that you have to view the ads. That's the way the site is designed to be viewed and that's how I expect users to view it. If you tried to go into a movie theater and set up a video camera because you'd rather view the movie on your TV at home, that would be clearly wrong (and illegal). The terms of the movie theater are that you pay your money and watch the movie there. You can't choose to watch the movie in any other way. You either adhere to the rules or you stay home. It's the same on the web. The only difference is that people somehow think it's okay to ignore accepted social norms on the web just because they are more difficult to enforce.

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by Alex Frakt » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:31 pm

KyleAAA wrote:My point is that as a creator of content, I should be able to set the terms under which you should be allowed to access the information on my site. On this forum, there are certain topics that are forbidden. That's fine. Those are your terms. But what if I could theoretically use some sort of technology to prevent you from deleting off-topic political or spam threads? That would clearly be wrong and you would rightly be upset. It's your site and I should abide by your terms, regardless of whether or not I agree with them. Just because I have the technical ability to thwart your wishes doesn't give me the moral right to do so, not even if I think it may be "better" for you if I do. Same with ads. My site, my terms. And my terms are that you have to view the ads.
This site's topic policy is explicit - there is a summary at the top of the site home page and links to the policy at the top of every other page. If I go to a site and it states explicitly that I must view the ads in order to view the content, I agree that it would be wrong to violate those terms and would certainly comply with them - in all likelihood by immediately leaving the site. However, I have never seen a site with such an explicit policy. It appears you are asking me to abide by an unstated policy that would prevent me from taking the perfectly legal (unlike your example of filming a movie in a theater to watch later) option of blocking ads based on a claimed "moral right" that I simply do not believe exists.

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by KyleAAA » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:39 pm

Alex Frakt wrote:
KyleAAA wrote:My point is that as a creator of content, I should be able to set the terms under which you should be allowed to access the information on my site. On this forum, there are certain topics that are forbidden. That's fine. Those are your terms. But what if I could theoretically use some sort of technology to prevent you from deleting off-topic political or spam threads? That would clearly be wrong and you would rightly be upset. It's your site and I should abide by your terms, regardless of whether or not I agree with them. Just because I have the technical ability to thwart your wishes doesn't give me the moral right to do so, not even if I think it may be "better" for you if I do. Same with ads. My site, my terms. And my terms are that you have to view the ads.
This site's topic policy is explicit - there is a summary at the top of the site home page and links to the policy at the top of every other page. If I go to a site and it states explicitly that I must view the ads in order to view the content, I agree that it would be wrong to violate those terms and would certainly comply with them - in all likelihood by immediately leaving the site. However, I have never seen a site with such an explicit policy. It appears you are asking me to abide by an unstated policy that would prevent me from taking the perfectly legal (unlike your example of filming a movie in a theater to watch later) option of blocking ads based on a claimed "moral right" that I simply do not believe exists.
There are plenty of unstated policies that are obvious. 99.9999% of social interactions are governed by them. You can't seriously be suggesting that blocking ads isn't OBVIOUSLY undesirable from the webmaster point of view. The fact that they are there to begin with proves a profit motive. Blocking ads counteracts an obvious profit motive without the permission of the service provider. To add insult to injury, you go on to use the service anyway even though common sense suggests that the webmaster wants you to view the ads. It is exactly analogous to sneaking into a movie. There is no explicit sign at any movie theater I've ever been to that says "you MUST pay to watch a movie." It's simply understood. It doesn't need to be stated. I will double-check the next time I go to the movies, though. Whether or not something is explicitly illegal doesn't change morality. Besides, I don't think any court of law has ever ruled on whether or not ad-blocking software is either legal or illegal in all of the variety of cases in which they are employed. It's certainly not unambiguously legal, if that's what you're implying. Just because it hasn't explicitly been ruled illegal doesn't imply legality. It just means the justice system has more important things to worry about or that nobody has bothered trying to sue over it yet. But even if it WERE unambiguously legal, that wouldn't necessarily make it moral.

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Re: too many Vanguard online ads!

Post by Alex Frakt » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:51 pm

I'm going to stop now to avoid having to call in a moderator on myself. It appears we have posted sufficiently to make our respective positions clear to anyone who is interested.

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Re: too many Vanguard online ads!

Post by KyleAAA » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:52 pm

Alex Frakt wrote:I'm going to stop now to avoid having to call in a moderator on myself. It appears we have posted sufficiently to make our respective positions clear to anyone who is interested.
Agreed.

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by greg24 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:11 pm

KyleAAA wrote:To each his own. My point is that as a creator of content, I should be able to set the terms under which you should be allowed to access the information on my site.
Feel free to code your site to detect AdBlock and refuse to serve up pages to such a browser.

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by KyleAAA » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:14 pm

greg24 wrote:
KyleAAA wrote:To each his own. My point is that as a creator of content, I should be able to set the terms under which you should be allowed to access the information on my site.
Feel free to code your site to detect AdBlock and refuse to serve up pages to such a browser.
I shouldn't have to do that, though. Besides, I already offer an ads-free version of the site. If you don't want to see ads, use that instead.

For the record, there is precedent for these types of technologies being ruled illegal dating back to the 70's. Were it to come to court, many forms of ad-blocking software would probably be ruled illegal. Also, LOTS of large websites forbid adblockers in their terms of service. Myspace certainly did back in the day.

http://news.cnet.com/Web-ad-blocking-ma ... 07936.html
http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2010/03/ ... s-dilemma/

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Re: too many Vanguard online ads!

Post by Sidney » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:41 pm

I just wish we could get all sites to mark all the news links that go to video only pages. I don't need some knucklehead reading me the news at a pace that is many times slower than I can read it. Some sites, like the Washington Post puts a little camera icon so you can tell.
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Re: too many Vanguard online ads!

Post by letsgobobby » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:45 pm

Vanguard isn't getting good value from its money if Google (or whoever) keeps directing their ad dollars my way. That was really my point. I don't mind the ads themselves, just wondering if there might be a better use of their money.

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Re: too many Vanguard online ads!

Post by KyleAAA » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:50 pm

letsgobobby wrote:Vanguard isn't getting good value from its money if Google (or whoever) keeps directing their ad dollars my way. That was really my point. I don't mind the ads themselves, just wondering if there might be a better use of their money.
I don't know if the ads in question are CPM or CPC ads, but they are probably CPC meaning they don't pay a dime if you don't click them. If they are CPM, they are likely cheap enough that Vanguard doesn't care. Everything is carefully tracked and monitored. If they weren't seeing good returns, I doubt they'd continue doing it. You aren't going to get 100% of the people who see an ad to take action. It's just not realistic. The calculations they do take into account the fact that a lot of people who see the ads just aren't going to care. But so long as your overall ROI is acceptable, it makes sense to keep doing it. Obviously if they had perfect information they would do things differently.

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by Alex Frakt » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:58 pm

KyleAAA wrote:For the record, there is precedent for these types of technologies being ruled illegal dating back to the 70's. Were it to come to court, many forms of ad-blocking software would probably be ruled illegal. Also, LOTS of large websites forbid adblockers in their terms of service. Myspace certainly did back in the day.

http://news.cnet.com/Web-ad-blocking-ma ... 07936.html
http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2010/03/ ... s-dilemma/
Since you chose to continue this,I will respond. There is equally precedent that this will eventually be ruled legal if it ever comes up, such as the decision that confirmed it is legal to fast forward through recorded commercials. BTW, the Myspace wording only applies to blocking the ads on pages you create within Myspace, not on people viewing the site. Also the second article you quoted doesn't exactly support your position
However, none of these theories have been tested and, to date, marketers have been trying a more conciliatory routes. The Ars Technica “experiment” marking the first time in recent history a major, well-respected site went against ad blockers head on, even calling them freeloaders.

But that begs the question: Are ad blockers freeloaders? If so, is it worthwhile for sites like Ars Technica to turn them away?

On the surface the math seems pretty simple. A user with ad block generates zero revenue and consumes bandwidth, server resources, etc. As such, they operate at a net loss.

The reality, however, is not that straightforward. Ad blockers often contribute to the site in other ways, including posting comments, submitting links to social news sites, sharing URLs with friends and helping build a community that others, including those who don’t block ads, will want to visit and partake in.

The challenge for Web sites is determining if these visitors are valuable enough to welcome. Would a site make more money blocking those with ad blockers and swapping the decreased traffic for some users whitelisting the site? Or do those who block ads add enough value to increase the site’s revenue without seeing ads? There’s no sure-fire way to tell.

The better solution, it would seem, is to find a way to reach the ad blockers without turning them away. In short, find a way to increase the number who view ads while not completely blocking the ad blocking crowd.

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by greg24 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:24 pm

KyleAAA wrote:I shouldn't have to do that, though.
Yes, you should.

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by KyleAAA » Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:24 pm

Alex Frakt wrote: There is equally precedent that this will eventually be ruled legal if it ever comes up, such as the decision that confirmed it is legal to fast forward through recorded commercials.
True, but the specific REASONS given by the judge in the VCR case don't apply to the internet. That same judge would likely rule the opposite in this case.

More directly applicable is WGN vs United Video, which cite precedent that removing commercials by intermediaries isn't allowed:

"The exemption thus allows carriers such as United Video to act as purely passive intermediaries between broadcasters and the cable systems that carry the broadcast signals into the home, without incurring any copyright liability. The cable system selects the signals it wants to retransmit, pays the copyright owners for the right to retransmit their programs, and pays the intermediate carrier a fee for getting the signal from the broadcast station to the cable system. The intermediate carrier pays the copyright owners nothing, provided it really is passive in relation to what it transmits, like a telephone company. See S.Rep.No.473, 94th Cong., 1st Sess. 78 (1975). It may not even delete commercials; an important part of the scheme set up in section 111 is the requirement that any cable system that wants to retransmit a broadcast signal without negotiating with the broadcast station or copyright owner transmit intact any commercials it receives from that station. See 17 U.S.C. § 111(c)(3)."

Deleting commercials in this case would be an unauthorized derivative work under copyright law. This seems to me directly applicable to the web.

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Last edited by KyleAAA on Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:41 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by KyleAAA » Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:26 pm

greg24 wrote:
KyleAAA wrote:I shouldn't have to do that, though.
Yes, you should.
Why? I'm not sure a judge would rule that way. In fact, I'm pretty certain they wouldn't. I already offer a completely and totally ads-free way to view the content. Two ways, actually. Why should I write custom code to block somebody from viewing the regular site when I already provide an ads-free way to do it? Especially when any custom code I wrote would soon be circumvented, leading to an endless cat-and-mouse game. That's like saying it's okay to steal a car if somebody leaves the keys in it. Yeah, it may be stupid to leave your keys in the car but that doesn't make it okay for you to take it. The financial damage caused by adblockers is every bit as direct and easy to prove.

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Re: too many Vanguard online ads!

Post by Archie Sinclair » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:53 pm

I do think this argument implies that it's wrong not to watch TV commercials. If you don't watch, you won't call the 1-800 number. Surely the advertiser keeps track of how many people are calling that number, and decides how to allocate advertising money accordingly. If they run a commercial on a channel in Fort Worth, but no one in Fort Worth watches the commercial, then the channel will lose an advertiser sooner or later.

The relationship isn't as direct as a click, but it's real. Advertisers don't pay for ads that aren't watched. When you skip a commercial, you're depending on other viewers to do the watching for you, and you're "freeloading" on the TV channel.

Life is a little unfair. Both TV channels and websites could maximize their revenues if everyone were forced to watch the ads, but they've got to make do. If it's such a hardship, why is there so much stuff on the internet, and why is so little of it behind a paywall?

The artistic arguments make no sense. How I view something on my own computer doesn't involve an appropriation of the content. If I wear glasses to a movie theater that distort the color of what I see, I haven't appropriated anything. I only appropriate it if I show it to others.

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Re: too many Vanguard online ads!

Post by fareastwarriors » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:56 pm

I have no problem with some ads as long I get to use many stuff for free! Like Hulu or YouTube or Pandora etc.

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Re: too many Vanguard online ads!

Post by KyleAAA » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:57 pm

Archie Sinclair wrote:I do think this argument implies that it's wrong not to watch TV commercials. If you don't watch, you won't call the 1-800 number. Surely the advertiser keeps track of how many people are calling that number, and decides how to allocate advertising money accordingly. If they run a commercial on a channel in Fort Worth, but no one in Fort Worth watches the commercial, then the channel will lose an advertiser sooner or later.
No it doesn't. TV advertisements simply can't be tracked that way and isn't sold as such. How many TV commercials actually include phone numbers, anyway? Not many. Internet advertising CAN be and IS sold as such. Additionally, TV audiences are massive compared to internet audiences. A few hundred or thousand people not watching TV commercials isn't going to have a material impact on the TV station's earnings. And even if it does, it's indirect and so far down the stream that it's impossible to match with its true cause. Even if I agree with you in theory, I couldn't prove financial hardship. A comparable number of internet ad-blockers WILL cause a material impact on publisher earnings, especially if that publisher is small. As an example, I earn about $100 per 1000 visitors to my sites, on average (my network averages about 70k visitors per month). If even just 2-3% of my visitors use ad-blocking software, that's tangible revenue. It's not pennies. It's dozens if not hundreds of dollars per month. Every month. That may not be much to NBC, but it's a lot to me. Would you argue that it's fair if I took $100 out of YOUR pocket every month for no good reason? I doubt it. Furthermore, the financial damage is direct and easily attributable to the ultimate source. I can prove it. Demonstrate it in court. It's obvious. The TV argument is not comparing apples to apples. That's more like apples to seaweed.
Archie Sinclair wrote: The relationship isn't as direct as a click, but it's real. Advertisers don't pay for ads that aren't watched. When you skip a commercial, you're depending on other viewers to do the watching for you, and you're "freeloading" on the TV channel.
Nobody is claiming the ads aren't watched by anybody. If EVERYBODY skipped commercials it would be a problem, but that's never happened. If and when it does, there will be issues. But since there's a lot of wiggle room already built into TV advertising prices, it's not particularly noticeable.
Archie Sinclair wrote: Life is a little unfair. Both TV channels and websites could maximize their revenues if everyone were forced to watch the ads, but they've got to make do. If it's such a hardship, why is there so much stuff on the internet, and why is so little of it behind a paywall?
Nobody said it was a huge hardship. Most sites still make more than enough profit from the regular visitors that the freeloaders don't impose too large a financial hardship. But answer me this: what level of theft is morally acceptable? And more of the internet isn't behind a paywall because that simply isn't a viable business model for many. Why? Because people are used to getting content for "free." Only it's not free. You pay for it via watching ads. Except when you don't. Guess who pays for your fair share then? Most likely the publisher.
Archie Sinclair wrote: The artistic arguments make no sense. How I view something on my own computer doesn't involve an appropriation of the content. If I wear glasses to a movie theater that distort the color of what I see, I haven't appropriated anything. I only appropriate it if I show it to others.
Invalid comparison. The ad blockers DO appropriate the content and show it to a 3rd party (you). You didn't write it yourself, did you? You aren't the one who misappropriated the content. The 3rd party developer did. This is how the courts would rule (and have ruled in similar cases). This concept is universally accepted in business and contemporary society everywhere EXCEPT on the internet. Seems like an odd exception. Besides, in the case of the color-distortion glasses you DID pay for the movie. Therefore, you aren't causing anybody financial harm. That can't be said for internet content. You are causing direct financial hardship. Taking without giving in return. That is the definition of theft.

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by rec7 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:14 am

Sidney wrote:Ad Block Plus and Flashblock. No ads, no automatic videos. Cleaner pages.
Will these work with windows?
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Re: too many Vanguard online ads!

Post by tfb » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:11 am

Alex Frakt wrote:This site's topic policy is explicit - there is a summary at the top of the site home page and links to the policy at the top of every other page. If I go to a site and it states explicitly that I must view the ads in order to view the content, I agree that it would be wrong to violate those terms and would certainly comply with them - in all likelihood by immediately leaving the site. However, I have never seen a site with such an explicit policy. It appears you are asking me to abide by an unstated policy that would prevent me from taking the perfectly legal (unlike your example of filming a movie in a theater to watch later) option of blocking ads based on a claimed "moral right" that I simply do not believe exists.
As a content publisher, I certainly have a biased opinion. That said, if it's as easy as posting a link to a stated policy and then all visitors will certainly comply, you are really living in fantasy land. Such stated policy will have practically zero effect, except in an argument. Your actual experience tells you a policy, stated or otherwise, doesn't do anything unless you enforce it. How much time and energy are you spending on enforcing your policy? Those other people are using technology to cause you to spend time on enforcing your policy.
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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by greg24 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:29 am

rec7 wrote:
Sidney wrote:Ad Block Plus and Flashblock. No ads, no automatic videos. Cleaner pages.
Will these work with windows?
AdBlock and Flashblock are both addons for the Firefox browser that you can download for Windows machines. I have used both for years.

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Re: too many Vanguard online ads!

Post by Alex Frakt » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:01 pm

tfb wrote:
Alex Frakt wrote:This site's topic policy is explicit - there is a summary at the top of the site home page and links to the policy at the top of every other page. If I go to a site and it states explicitly that I must view the ads in order to view the content, I agree that it would be wrong to violate those terms and would certainly comply with them - in all likelihood by immediately leaving the site. However, I have never seen a site with such an explicit policy. It appears you are asking me to abide by an unstated policy that would prevent me from taking the perfectly legal (unlike your example of filming a movie in a theater to watch later) option of blocking ads based on a claimed "moral right" that I simply do not believe exists.
As a content publisher, I certainly have a biased opinion. That said, if it's as easy as posting a link to a stated policy and then all visitors will certainly comply, you are really living in fantasy land. Such stated policy will have practically zero effect, except in an argument. Your actual experience tells you a policy, stated or otherwise, doesn't do anything unless you enforce it. How much time and energy are you spending on enforcing your policy? Those other people are using technology to cause you to spend time on enforcing your policy.
I only said I would comply. We were talking about a claimed moral issue, not a practical one. BTW, my policies only address uses that infringe on other people, readers can do whatever they want with the contents of the site on their own machine and with their own work. How many sites have a policy like ours? "Post authors (regardless of standing) retain the exclusive right to republish their original material in any medium or website outside the forum except where this right is limited by fair use and any applicable laws. In other words, no one can sell or reuse your words outside the forum without your express permission, but you can sell or reuse them without ours."

I object to assumptions that someone's self-declared moral belief is tantamount to law. There is clearly a difference of opinion here on what is moral and until the courts or legislature act otherwise, there is no legal obligation to view site ads. BTW, if it's such a slam dunk that ad blockers would not survive in court, why has no one challenged them? Surely, a yahoo-sized site could afford to seek an injunction against the creator of Adblock Plus. If they are really losing 1% or 2% of their income, one would assume it would be in their shareholder's interest to do so.

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Re: too many Vanguard ads!

Post by rec7 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:11 pm

[quote="greg24"][quote="rec7"][quote="Sidney"]Ad Block Plus and Flashblock. No ads, no automatic videos. Cleaner pages.[/quote]

Will these work with windows?[/quote]

AdBlock and Flashblock are both addons for the Firefox browser that you can download for Windows machines. I have used both for years.[/quote]

I mean to say will they work on internet explorer?
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Re: too many Vanguard online ads!

Post by KyleAAA » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:21 pm

Alex Frakt wrote: BTW, if it's such a slam dunk that ad blockers would not survive in court, why has no one challenged them? Surely, a yahoo-sized site could afford to seek an injunction against the creator of Adblock Plus. If they are really losing 1% or 2% of their income, one would assume it would be in their shareholder's interest to do so.
This has actually happened in the past. In every case I'm aware of, things were settled before they got to court. I specifically recall one in the late 90's when a bunch of Mac publishers served the creator of some sort of ad blocker. The ad blocker people discontinued the product in response, so it's never gotten that far. This says to me that the creators probably knew they would lose and decided to cut their losses.

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Re: too many Vanguard online ads!

Post by Mel Lindauer » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:59 pm

This thread has clearly run its course and gone off topic, so it's being locked.
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Locked